Karen Tanzy, PhD, as a licensed clinical psychologist and founder of Aging With Creativity, supports older adults in leading more vibrant, rewarding lives through creative aging classes, individual psychotherapy and mindfulness meditation classes. She encourages older adults to integrate creative practices, enhance their quality of life, tap into their vitality and resilience, build their sense of connection and pursue meaning and purpose. Dr. Tanzy’s background includes:
• PhD in Clinical Psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary, Graduate School of Psychology
• M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary
• Psychology Internship at University of Washington, School of Medicine, Rehabilitation Psychology
• Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology from the Neuropsychiatric Institute, UCLA
Learn more about Dr. Tanzy’s education and background by viewing her CV.
In My Own Words
I believe that when older people tap into their creativity, they enhance their own lives with joyful purpose and help to make the world a better place. It’s not just about doing “creative” activities, per se. It’s also about approaching all of life with a sense of creative engagement and curiosity.
As a young girl, I remember my parents hosting summer family reunions. I loved sitting on the front porch, listening to the older adults tell their stories and reflect on their lives. I learned history, values, and meaning from the tales shared by the older members of my family and community.
I continue to appreciate older adults with their rich histories and experiences. I enjoy meeting with older adults and supporting their aim to live vibrant and meaningful lives. In therapy, I believe it’s important to provide a safe space for individuals to explore the challenges of aging and to find ways to access their innate strengths and build upon their resilience. I listen deeply and offer emotional support during times of grief. My therapeutic work includes exploration of one’s spirituality and integrates themes of meaning and purpose. Older adults often speak of wanting to stay relevant to the world. We talk about ways to do so. I am here to explore end of life issues and help individuals review their lives and talk about what their legacy might look like and ways to celebrate the beauty and wisdom therein. I am also available to provide support for those in the role of caregiver and encourage self-care practices.
I believe it is important for older adults to tap into their vitality through their unique creative inclinations. And it is imperative to one’s health and well-being that each find ways to be socially connected. In classes, we explore these topics and more.
The African philosophy of “ubuntu,” which is roughly translated as “I am because we are,” speaks to our interconnected nature. There is an epidemic of loneliness in our culture. Through my creative aging and mindfulness meditation classes, I work to address this condition of loneliness and seek to help older adults have meaningful conversations and build their sense of connection and belonging within the community.
I started Aging with Creativity because I am creative! I love making things with my hands, taking art classes, playing the harp, gardening, singing, and finding beauty in nature, especially big trees.
“We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.